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MURDER FOR TWO MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College
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Jul 26, 2018, 12:11
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Through August 12
MURDER FOR TWO MusicalFare Theatre/Daemen College

It’s that time of year, when Shakespeare or Shaw aren’t quite entertaining enough for many theatergoers.
Instead, they want something even fluffier and MusicalFare is providing it.
“It” is “Murder for Two,” a musical with two performers and one piano.
Sounds simple?
It really isn’t since the two performers play two different roles.
Detective (Philip Farugia) is really a uniformed cop out of uniform who wanders into a murder and the nearest detective is an hour away, but, OH, does he want to be a detective.
Suspects (Joseph Donohue III) is 11 other characters.
What makes the show complicated is that Donohue mostly doesn’t change costumes, so he has to act the parts.
As usual with these multi-character parts, that’s where it gets complicated.
In reality, you just sit back and let this truly tangled plot roll over you while the two performers demonstrate how good they are on 88 keys, even at the same time on the keyboard, demonstrated by the camera directly above and the large screen on the back of the almost Victorian Dyan Burlingame set.
The music and songs aren’t wonderful but they are delivered with verve.
Donohue was a wonderful Jerry Lee Lewis in “Million Dollar Quartet” and that skill shows here at the keyboard.
He’s everything from the widow of the murdered man to the victim’s girlfriend.
“Suspects” does it with stage glasses, gestures with his arms, ballet dancing and a lot of other maneuvers.
After a while, you just stop trying to separate one from the other and watch.
Under Doug Weyand’s direction and choreography, it’s a show delivered with that verve and speed, sometimes with the speed of a French farce.
Of course, that can disguise how fluffy the whole thing is.
That’s really the whole idea, summer fluff and entertainment.
Do you want the great ideas and great issues acted out or sung out on stage in mid-summer or do you want a nice relaxed evening watching two performers at the top of their game working up a sweat in their roles?
You can relax and enjoy.
That’s why “Murder for Two” is an entertaining evening and worth seeing.

A.W.

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